Academics claim 'Amoris Laetitia' has left church like a ship without a rudder

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by Joshua J. McElwee

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A group of 23 academics have issued a statement of support for the four cardinals openly challenging Pope Francis over his apostolic exhortation on the family, claiming that the global Catholic church is "drifting perilously like a ship without a rudder."

The academics, who are writing about Francis' Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love"), call on other Catholic bishops to join the cardinals, who have issued an open letter to the pontiff with five yes or no questions about how he understands church teaching.

Among those signing the academics' letter, posted in English at the personal blog of the head of the UK-based Latin Mass Society, are nine priests, a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The full list of signers:

  • Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula, S.T.D., J.D.
    Chaplain and Faculty Member of the Roman Forum
  • Rev. Claude Barthe,
  • Dr. Robert Beddard, M.A. (Oxon et Cantab), DPhil (Oxon)
    Fellow emeritus and former Vice Provost of Oriel College Oxford.
  • Carlos A. Casanova Guerra
    Doctor of Philosophy, Full Professor, 
    Universidad Santo Tomás, Santiago de Chile
  • Salvatore J. Ciresi, M.A.
    Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
    Director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild   
  • Luke Gormally, Ph.L.
    Director Emeritus, The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics (1981-2000)
    Sometime Research Professor, Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2001-2007)
    Ordinary Member, The Pontifical Academy for Life
  • Rev. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., M.A., S.T.D.
    Associate Professor of Theology (retired), Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Scholar-in-Residence, Oblates of Wisdom Study Center, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Rev. John Hunwicke, M.A. (Oxon.)
    Former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford; Priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham; Member, Roman Forum
  • Peter A. Kwasniewski, Ph.D. (Philosophy)
    Professor, Wyoming Catholic College
  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Morgan, DPhil (Oxon)
    Academies Conversion Project Leader & Oeconomus
    Diocese of Portsmouth
  • Don Alfredo Morselli, S.T.L.
    Parish priest of the Archdiocese of Bologna
  • Rev. Richard A. Munkelt, Ph.D. (Philosophy)
    Chaplain and Faculty Member, Roman Forum
  • Rev. John Osman, M.A., S.T.L.
    Parish priest in the archdiocese of Birmingham, 
    former Catholic chaplain to the University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Paolo Pasqualucci
    Professor of Philosophy (retired), 
    University of Perugia
  • Dr. Claudio Pierantoni
    Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Chile
    Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
    Member of the International Association of Patristic Studies
  • Dr. John C. Rao, DPhil (Oxon.) 
    Associate Professor of History, St. John's University (NYC)
    Chairman, Roman Forum
  • Dr. Nicholas Richardson, M.A., DPhil (Oxon.)
    Fellow emeritus and Sub-Warden of Merton College, Oxford
    and former Warden of Greyfriars, Oxford
  • Dr. Joseph Shaw, M.A., DPhil (Oxon.) FRSA
    Senior Research Fellow (Philosophy) at St Benet's Hall, 
    Oxford University
  • Dr. Anna M. Silvas, FAHA,
    Adjunct research fellow, University of New England, 
    Armidale, NSW, Australia.
  • Michael G. Sirilla, Ph.D.
    Director of Graduate Theology, 
    Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio
  • Professor Dr. Thomas Stark
    Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Benedikt XVI, Heiligenkreuz
  • Rev.  Glen Tattersall
    Parish Priest, Parish of Bl. John Henry Newman, Archdiocese of Melbourne
    Rector, St Aloysius' Church, Melbourne
  • Rev. Dr David Watt, S.T.L., Ph.D. (Cantab.)
    Priest of the Archdiocese of Perth
    Chaplain, St Philomena's chapel, Malaga

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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